Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oldest surviving tombstone in Central Florida?

Consider this post a challenge to ye local socks to find a tombstone in this little corner of heaven that predates the one I found outside the Marsh Museum in Tomoka State Park (Volusia County).

Evidently, the stone was vandalized during the Second Seminole War and removed from the grave site (just a mile or so away from its current location). By the time the State of Florida acquired it (how, I do not know), it was broken in two pieces.

I've done a lot of cemetery surveys around here, but have never seen a stone this old (1825) south of St. Augustine. Anyone up for the challenge of beating that date?

Kinda hard to read, so here's a transcript:

Sacred to the memory
John Addison
who died at his plantation on the Tomoka River,
East Florida,
on the 29th day of June, 1825,
after a sickness of four days,
aged 61 years and 6 months.
He was born in Carrickfergus, County
Antrim, Ireland.
Early in life, he visited the United States
and the West Indies, but for many years
[crack in stone]
he died, and by his industry acquired a
very handsome property.
He was indeed a humane master,
a benevolent friend, and a most
affectionate brother.
This stone is erected as a small token
of respect to his memory by his brother
Thomas Addison
and his other relatives.

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